The Fresh Loaf

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Making a levain

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Bob Marley's picture
Bob Marley

Making a levain

Okay so my starter has been peaking an slightly less than 8 hours and I'm ready (I think) to make a levain for a 500g dough.  Here are the ingredients for it:

  • 5g starter
  • 50g water
  • 50g AP flour

So the levain clocks in at approx. 21% of the final dough weight.  The levain is setting at room temp 75F  24C.   I expect the levain to peak in eight to twelve hours at which time the remaining flour, water and salt will be mixed in.  I'll allow a slight rise and then place into the fridge for a retard for a day or three.  Suggestions would be helpful.  TIA!

golgi70's picture
golgi70

At that feed ratio I'd expect it to take at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours to peak depending on temperature of course.  Should make for a twangy levain.  So my only suggestion is to wait until it is truly peaked.  That and don't skip the autolyse phase   

Good luck and happy dough making

Josh

Bob Marley's picture
Bob Marley

Thanks and yes.  Will autolyse both the remaining flour and water prior to mixing with the levain along with some salt.

Bob Marley's picture
Bob Marley

Voila!  It appears to have just peaked and is very slightly dimpled.  At present the remaining flour+water is mixed therefor autolysing for 30-60 minutes.  At that point it'll be mixed with the levain and some salt.

Bob Marley's picture
Bob Marley

...is at 75F 24C and it appears to have doubled and slightly deflated.

PetraR's picture
PetraR

Looks nice and bubbly:)

Bob Marley's picture
Bob Marley

Following a 30 minute autolyse, the dough was mixed with salt and the levain and was then kneaded for less than two minutes.  What you observe in the attached photo is a very slack dough.  An hour later it was french folded on a very well floured surface to tighten the dough a bit.  Here's the slack dough:Slack dough after kneading.

 

 

Here's the dough an hour later immediately following a french fold on a well floured surface:

 

My dough an hour later. Hmmm, this'll be a waiting game and it appears that the banneton could accomodate a heavier dough.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

So how many sets of folds did you do and on what increments to develop the gluten?  What is the hydration?

Bob Marley's picture
Bob Marley

The basket measures 9 1/2" X 6 1/2" X 3" and overall hydration is 75%.

One hour after the final mixing I did one single stretch and fold.  An hour later I made a boule and allowed to rest for 20 minutes after which I did the final shaping and now it's proofing.

Two hours later it's developing a really nice crown and skin.  To me, the better the skin, the nicer the ear.  I need patience but for my first SD and seeing the crown develop, I'm gettin' excited!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

almost a no knead bread,  Never seen a procedure like this one .  So how long will it ferment /proof in the bag?

Bob Marley's picture
Bob Marley

With my yeasted breads the fewer stretch and folds, the more tender the crust.  The dough goes into a 500F oven once the poke test reveals a slow rebound.

Here's the crown and skin after a two-hour proof.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Can't wait to see how this one turns out.  We love new bead procedures around here more than breaking in new Baking Apprentices:-)

Happy Baking